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    Ultra-Rare Signed Photo of the Legendary Western Scout Kit Carson

    Kit Carson Signed Brady Carte de Visite. Boldly ink-signed "Kit Carson" in the lower margin, this top quality photo, mounted on a CDV card of 2.5" x 3.75", exhibits strong contrast and full tonal range. This is not the widely reproduced pose of Carson with his hands folded in his lap though it is obviously from the same 1860s photo session. In this pose, Carson's hands are separated with one on his leg and the other resting against the arm of the chair. The Brady photostamp is found in the lower left margin and the backmark on verso reads "Brady's National Photographic Portrait Galleries No. 352 Pennsylvania Av. Washington D.C. & Broadway & Tenth St. New York".

    This famous American frontiersman, celebrated in story and song, was born Christopher Houston Carson in 1809 near Richmond, Kentucky, the eleventh of fifteen children. He moved with his family to the Missouri frontier before his fourth birthday. At age seven, his father died and the young Carson was forced to leave school and work on the farm. He was soon apprenticed to a saddle maker but, in 1826, ran away with a caravan headed to Santa Fe. He continued on to Taos, New Mexico, and that became his headquarters for the next fourteen years while he made his living as a trapper, miner, teamster, cook, guide, and hunter for exploring parties. In 1842, he chanced to meet John C. Frémont on a Missouri River steamboat. Frémont was looking for a guide to the South Pass and employed Carson as a guide for his Western expeditions of 1842, 1843-44, and 1845. Kit Carson first gained national recognition from Frémont's much-read expedition reports that spoke glowingly of Carson's bravery and prowess. An 1858 biography and a popular series of Wild West "blood and thunder" pulp novels exaggerated his exploits giving Carson an almost mythical status among heroes of the American West which remains to this day.

    In excellent condition with corners clipped and margin trimmed at top (CDVs from this period often were trimmed and clipped so they would fit better into a photo album). There is only a hint of very light staining mostly in the margins. A wonderful opportunity to own not only the rare signature of this western legend but one on a seldom seen Brady photo.




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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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